About Me

Gavin Hubble - (BSc & Post Grad. Business Marketing) - I started working in the wine industry over 23 years ago in New Zealand. Working in; wine retail, sales, wine production, label & packaging design, marketing, wine buying, consulting and wine education. I am responsible for the Brand Health of 60+ wine brands distributed here in New Zealand. Wine Brands from New Zealand, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Chile and Argentina. I work closely with the Trade Industry - (Retail Stores & Restaurants) introducing, educating and positioning exciting and unique brands to wine enthusiasts all over the world.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Saint Émilion AOC

The Saint Émilion AOC vineyards are located 35km near Bordeaux on the 'right bank' of the Dordogne River - where Saint-Émilion is registered as a world heritage site by UNESCO. Saint-Emilion's fame is due to its unique situation and soil to be found in the area
For several historical reasons before the French revolution in 1789, St-Émilion's land was divided into thousands of plots. Thus, the current average size of the properties of Saint-Emilion doesn’t exceed 7 ha, which is small when compared to the Medoc wine estates being approx five times the size.
Fortunately this historical inheritance turned out to be an advantage when vines were planted around the small town of St-Émilion because of the astonishing diversity of the local soils. St-Émilion is covered with a thick molasse layer of calcareous, sandstones, shales and conglomerates of shallow marine deposits. Saint Emilion is assigned to five main areas based on the type of soil: Côte Sud, or South - Graves de Figeac - the West coast - the North coast and the plateau of St-Martin. With the exception of the gravelly soil of the Graves de Figeac on which the Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon varietals are particularly well adapted, St-Émilion is the home of Merlot, which makes up a dominant portion of the red wine blends.
The total area of wine-producing is made up of several communes: Saint-Émilion, Saint-Christophe-des-Bardes, Saint-Hippolyte, Saint-Étienne-de-Lisse, Saint-Laurent-des-Combes, Saint-Pey-d’Armens, Saint-Sulpice-de-Faleyrens, Vignonet, and a part of the Libourne commune - all accounting for approximately 6% of the total Bordeaux vineyard area.
Since 1955, there has been a classification of Saint-Émilion wine, and is updated every 10 years or so (last in 2006), and consists of the following levels: Premier grand cru classé A, Premier grand cru classé B, and Grand cru classé - (18 Premiers Grands Crus Classés and 64 Grands Crus Classés). As of the new classification in 2012, there are currently four estates at the highest level: Château Angélus, Château Ausone, Château Cheval Blanc and Château Pavie. Previously, Château Ausone and Château Cheval Blanc were the only two estates at this classification level.
During the 1990s, a very surprising new category of wines appeared: the ‘garagiste’ wines, whose tiny production and extremely low yields give highly fruity concentrated and extracted wines. The most famous ‘garage wine’ estates are Valandraud, Mondotte and Le Pin.
St-Émilion's Merlot dominated wines are often less austere than their cousins of the Médoc region. They Saint-Emilion wines are fully rich, velvety, fruity, elegant and powerful. After 10-15 years of ageing, the wines of Saint-Émilion tend to gain complexity from their initial aromas by integrating rich leather, earthy and spicy flavours.

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